by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Fred Barnes devotes a Weekly Standard column to comparing American economic performance under our current president and his predecessor.
We now know why President Obama had to struggle so hard to spur the economy and allow it to grow more than 2 percent a year. And that was the high-water mark. In the last quarter of his presidency, growth had slipped to 1.5 percent. Today it’s obvious what Obama’s problem was. He had the wrong policies‚ lots of them.
How do we know this? Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, and the Republican Congress reversed Obama’s policies. The result, from the day Trump was elected, has been a more robust economy. Nearly 4 million jobs have been added, and unemployment has dipped to the lowest point in nearly a half-century. Let’s compare what Obama did with what Trump is doing.
Obama raised taxes. Trump cut them. Obama was a regulatory zealot. Trump is passionate about deregulation. Obama’s Clean Power Plan killed the coal industry. Trump is reviving it. Obama downgraded the role of entrepreneurs and free markets in boosting the economy and lauded the wonderful things government does.
Obama’s biggest breakthrough was the Affordable Care Act, a big step toward a single-payer, government-run health care system. Trump got rid of the individual mandate that forced everyone to buy expensive insurance or be fined—a big step toward a return to free markets in health care.